Huawei fed up, tells US critics 'shut up'

Huawei fed up, tells US critics 'shut up'

Summary: Chinese telecom equipment maker lashes out against what it says is discriminatory and defamatory treatment by a former US CIA official, demanding its critics "put up or shut up".


Amid the latest round of allegations by U.S. and U.K. officials, Huawei has fought back in a tougher tone and demanded an end to the accusations.

Huawei to critics: "It's time to put up or shut up."

William Plummer, the company's vice president of external affairs, demanded its critics "shut up" if they were unable to produce any concrete evidence to back up ongoing claims Huawei was spying on behalf of the Chinese government. According to a Sina news report Friday, he called a latest round of allegations from a U.S. official discriminatory and defamatory.

Plummer was referring to comments from former head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Michael Hayden, alleging Huawei provided information to the Chinese government. In an interview with the Australian Financial Review newspaper published Thursday, Hayden said the telecom equipment maker shared "intimate and extensive knowledge" of foreign telecommunications systems it was involved with, according to a transcript on Bloomberg

The Chinese company denied any wrongdoing. 

Huawei's global cybersecurity officer, John Suffolk, said in a statement to Reuters: "Huawei meets the communication needs of more than a third of the planet, and our customers have the right to know what these unsubstantiated concerns are.

"It's time to put up or shut up," Suffolk said. 

The company's vice president of international media affairs, Scott Sykes, added in a separate statement to Bloomberg that Huawei was a "proven and trusted" information and communications technology vendor. "These tired, unsubstantiated, defamatory remarks are sad distractions from real-world concerns related to espionage, industrial, and otherwise," Sykes said. 

Hayden's claims came just a day after the U.K. government announced plans to investigate Huawei's construction of a cybersecurity testing facility in Oxfordshire. It said it would examine the role of Huawei staff at the center to maintain "confidence" in the security ofthe U.K. telecommunications network.

In January, Huawei systems were removed from a top nuclear weapons labs in the U.S. over security worries. 

Concerns over links between Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers, specifically Huawei and ZTE, were raised last year when the US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee said these Chinese vendors should not be permitted to do business with U.S. businesses and government. 

In an interview with ZDNet at Huawei's Shenzhen headquarters earlier this week, Sykes said the U.S. market had proven to be a "commercial disappointment" due to trade protectionism, xenophobia, and politics on the part of the U.S. government. 

Topics: Security, Government, China

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  • I agree

    After the recent NSA blow-up ... I think the Governments should get together and redraw the lines of privacy and security. If there is no Huawei then there is no GOOG, MSFT or APPL either.
    Get it done and lets keep trading ... or go back to the dark ages and put up the barriers again.
    • Huawei and ZTE do plant backdoors.

      I'm from the netsec community, and let me tell you that everyone in the community knows that Huawei and ZTE have done very questionable things.

      Have you heard of Def Con? It stands for "Defense Conference" and is undoubtedly the best hacker conference in the world. Watch this famous 2012 talk on analysis of Huawei routers:

      Also, ZTE has deliberately planted backdoors in its US phones. Here, let me give you the code so that you can see for yourself:
  • look

    If anyone knows about shooting on everyday people, it is the US and UK government!
  • With regard to Michael Vincent Hayden's saying that

    Huawei was spying for the Chinese government, I can't but be reminded of Mandy Rice-Davies' (of Profumo scandal fame) classic comment about someone who denied knowing her : «He would, wouldn't he ?»...

    Mr Hayden's credibility on any matter is so low that one would be advised not to ask him the time of day....

    • I that the best he could come up with

      "The telecom equipment maker shared "intimate and extensive knowledge" of foreign telecommunications systems it was involved with,"
      Well guess what if you build the system I guess you know what you built not exactly rocket science is it?
      Like Apple taking Samsung to court has increased Samsung sales people walk into stores and recognize the name, now outselling Nokia and HTC. The American government has turned an totally unknown phone brand into a brand name.
      Add the NSA affair it has backfired on them big time as the security risk is they could not ask Huawei to work with NSA on Prism. As wikileaks showed every communication between secured american embassy links was on the internet for a guy called Bradly to download the whole lot anyway on American made equipment.
      Its called deflecting the real questions of why was this allowed to happen on your watch Mr Plummer why did you not have security in place to prevent it as you claim to have the most secure equipment then subcontract security to a company that hire the cheapest non graduates or low ranking army staff are allowed access to high level files without background checks and risk assessment. Your watch sir answer the question Mr Plummer.
  • Spy Games

    >>>Beats head on table
    • Missing my post?

      Not sure where the rest of my post went. nothing showed up after the
    • Broken post?

      Interesting. The
  • "I demand the honor of being prosecuted"

    There's something to be said for that, but the suspicions against Huawei are reasonable in light of the fact that bad things tend to happen to citizens who fail to give totalitarian governments their full cooperation (even voting the wrong way might cause you to lose your job, or worse); and if Huawei were spying for the Chinese government (directly or indirectly), it would have to deny it.

    But perhaps it's time for everyone to lay their cards on the table so people can make educated decisions.
    John L. Ries
    • Agreed

      Any denial isn't worth the air used to state it. However, even if it is true we are hardly ones to point the finger. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
  • Even if they can't find...

    ...offensive code in the router equipment now, who's to say it couldn't be introduced via a backdoor at any time?

    Did they release the entirety of the source for the routers? If so, then we have little to complain about.

    If they didn't, and are asking why they should... Well... while the NSA scandal proved our Gov't is about as lily white as a cesspool, the Chinese government is several orders of magnitude worse that has no compunction against killing their own civilians. As long as the CHinese people are willing to be under the thumb of a totalitarian dictatorship thinly veiled as a "people's party", then I can't trust their stuff in infrastructure critical points.
  • Chinese anything products should be boycotted PERIOD!

    Forget about the security risk for a moment and consider this:

    I live in Asia and so am stuck like a typical stupid Wal Mart addict and
    am forced to buy everything "Made in China" products.

    Let me tell you that so far in 3 years of living here in Asia NOT ONE SINGLE
    product made in China ever worked for more than a month.

    The reason is that the Chinese build dirt cheap crap products with seriously inferior materials and it makes no difference what you buy from China it's all CRAP!

    A kids toy, a wifi router, headphones, a plastic plate, a chair, a desk, a pen, a lamp, etc etc etc


    I say the World needs to boycott anything made in China and force them to learn how to manufacture their goods properly and make them with quality.
    • Apple has no security risk, Java,Windows thats ok.

      "I say the World needs to boycott anything made in China and force them to learn how to manufacture their goods properly and make them with quality."
      Guess what have a look at Huawei on Google earth then have a look on the other side of the highway, you will see a company called Foxconn makers of a famous American brand called Apple with quality control. Walmart where you shop is an American company with an American purchasing department that could pay a bit more and run the same quality control tests Apple run. Quality is decided by the buyer. You order goods from China you order the quality, If you want good you put your own staff in quality control it costs money. But Americans who shop at Walmart want cheap and keep going back so why should they.
      So funny Walmart customer asking to boycott China